Drive-through Cargo and Vehicle Screening System
By Mike Hanlon
November 27, 2006
November 28, 2006 We’re all familiar with the x-ray machines encountered in airports, but it may be of interest to see the scale such machines are being developed on, and the sophistication now available for contraband detection in vehicles. American Science and Engineering’s newly-announced second generation Z Portal, is a high-throughput, drive-through cargo and vehicle screening system with multi-view Z Backscatter imaging to detect stowaways, explosives, and other contraband. The Z Portal produces images from three sides of the object under examination — for left, right, and top-down screening of the cargo.
“With its leaner streamlined design, Z Portal provides the safest and most effective drive-through screening system for congested security checkpoints,” said Robert Postle, AS&E;’s Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Sales. “Z Portal’s use of AS&E;’s proprietary Z Backscatter technology allows for safe scanning of the entire vehicle so that the driver can remain in the cab. This significantly speeds up the screening process and facilitates the flow of traffic at checkpoints and border crossings. Z Portal offers our customers a flexible design, available in two sizes, that is easily integrated with existing high-energy inspection systems for maximum detection capability.”
AS&E;’s Z Portal is a multi-view, drive-through inspection system capable of scanning cars, vans, trucks, and their cargo for concealed threats and contraband. The Z Portal produces photo-like images, which offer material discrimination and highlight organic contraband, such as, explosives, drugs, stowaways, and alcohol. With its compact profile, the Z Portal system is ideal for high-traffic locations with space constraints and a high-throughput requirement. The Z Portal system is safe for drivers, operators, cargo, and the environment. The system can be configured with up to three Z Backscatter imaging modules and provides a left, right, and top-down view of the vehicles under examination. The relocatable screening system is available in two sizes — one for large trucks, buses, and cargo vehicles, and a smaller size for passenger vehicles.
AS&E;’s Patented Technology: Z Backscatter X-Rays
The Z Portal employs AS&E;'s patented Z Backscatter technology, which produces photo-like images of the contents of a container or vehicle, highlighting organic materials. Z Backscatter technology based on the X-ray Compton Scattering effect, works by detecting and highlighting “low Z” materials (items that contain low atomic number elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen). AS&E; creates Z Backscatter images showing organic materials by directing a sweeping beam of X-rays at the object under examination, and then measuring and plotting the intensity of scattered X-rays as a function of the beam position. Z Backscatter technology — only available from AS&E; — reveals the threats that competitive systems miss, including explosives, plastic weapons, and drugs.